LOVE CULTURE & LOCAL LIFE
Vibrant arts and cultural community here. Weekly events and festivals throughout the summer season.
Castlebar Weekly Food & Craft Market - Mayo's biggest indoor market where you will find the largest display of home-grown vegetables, home baked foods, hand-knits, crochet and handmade Arts ,Crafts and Jewellery. Relax with a cup of tea or coffee and some home-baked scones. Made by locals, supported by locals, you’re welcomed by locals. Call Fintan on (087) 1622177.
Foody Tours: Exciting gourmet tasting tours for all foodies living in, or visiting, the West of Ireland. Expect a great night out especially in Castlebar and meet our artisan producers! Visit www.foodytours.ie
Awarding winning café and bars: Try Rua’s Mezzo Mayo plate, Helens handmade chocolates, Greenway Café gluten free treats & scone, Bar Ones gastro curry with an Irish twist, the Olive Tree Eastern Mediterranean mix of locally sourced ingredients, and much more, you’re spoilt for choice.
LOVE WALKING & CYCLING
Run, Walk, Stroll or Crawl!
From elite to novice all are welcome here,
www.visitcastlebar.com/the-great-outdoors Here’s a taster, you can do it all or sit back and do nothing at all!
The Great Western Greenway, just got longer!
This award winning route now extends from Turlough to Castlebar to Achill. With lots of amazing detours you’ll want to stay longer or better still, come back for more. Rivers, bogs, forests, sea and awesome scenery. Pedal and electric bicycles are available to rent, with or without tour guides. Turlough to Castlebar (10km) (accessible to buggies and wheelchairs) Westport to Newport (12.2km) Newport to Mulranny (18km) Mulranny to Achill (13km) www.greenway.ie and www.mayowalks.ie
Castlebar is home of the oldest walking festival in Ireland, the Castlebar International Four Days Walking Festival. There are a series of walks from the town 10km, 20km and 40km. Lots to choose from on or off road. Join with our community every Saturday for the world wide Park Runs around beautiful Lough Lannagh. Home to the Pink Ribbon
Cycle and Castlebar Daulton from a short spin out tshe road to 100km with Castlebar as your base.
Great Western Greenway - Castlebar Network
Castlebar Network extends from the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life in Turlough village via Castlebar town, Lough Lannagh, Rehins Woods and onwards to Westport. The trail offers a pleasant mix of fields, riverside woodlands, small sections of quiet country back roads and urban settings. The Greenway has been designed for shared use by leisure walkers, joggers and cyclists and is suitable for people with easy to moderate levels of fitness. The route is mainly traffic-free and off- road with a solid surface, either tarred or compacted and can be used to commute to and from school or work. The Boots, Bikes and Boards Greenway Games Maps are available from Bikes and Boards at Lough Lannagh Holiday Village for those that want to explore and learn more about the route. Further information is available from www.greenway.ie
Live Music 6 nights a week in Castlebar town. All genres, no entry fee. Traditional Music and Sean Nós Show with world champion dancers. Learn a few dance steps and how to pull a pint at Cox’s, no entry fee. www.coxs.ie Royal Theatre Castlebar, biggest venue in the West of Ireland and promoted events in numerous venues and Linenhall Art Centre.
Dancing at the Crossroads - A great family evening out. The night promises to be a fun, with plenty to entertain children, bouncy castles, face painting, a rodeo bull etc. The line-up starts with traditional music and dance groups. Spectators can join in the dancing too. A workshop will be held by earlier in the day at 2pm (To be confirmed) in The Linenhall, for people to brush up on their dance steps. On the Sunday of the June Bank Holiday Weekend.
World Dancing Campionships - Hundreds of dancers come from all over the world to take part in the dancing finals. The competitions are open to the public and the talent is breathtaking as well as the colour, a sight to be seen. Event takes place on the fourth weekend in June.
Castlebar International Walking Festival - The Castlebar International 4 Days’ Walks Festival has attracted walkers from every corner of the world since it began in 1967. This is the ideal opportunity to walk, talk, and discover the bogs, rivers, mountains and unspoiled beauty of the West of Ireland with kindred spirits. This is the oldest and friendliest of Walking Festivals in Ireland. On the first weekend in July (commencing on the Thursday).
Irish Music & Dance Night - Cox’s Pub & Restaurant are proud to present, free of charge, a showcase of world champions in Irish music and dance for the summer. A SESSION to remember! Every Thursday night from 8pm there will be a riveting performance of the best music and dance in the West. Every Thursday in July & August @ 8pm
Bonamh Market & Heritage Day - Sees the traditional “pig market” area of the town in Rush Street turn back the clock and recreate the Bonamh Market of old. The street comes alive with the sound of cattle, pigs, sheep, farmers doing deal, children playing music and local traders plying their trade like in the days gone by. That night there is more fun and music on the street. On the third weekend in August.
Ballinrobe Horse Racing - Evening and Day race program from April to September. www.ballinroberacecourse.ie
Love Lannagh Day, family fun and adventuer activities on the lake From 10am on the third Saturday in April. The event is packed full of activities, water sports, Music and food! This event is Free so come along & bring your friends! Kayaking, Canoeing, Raft Race, Kite Surfing Demos, Stand up Paddle Boarding, Orienteering, Loads of brilliant Adventure Games, Live Grafitti Paint, Teddy Bear Picnic, Treasure Hunt, Face Painting
Mayo Day is a celebration of our 'Mayo-ness' in Mayo Communities worldwide. People at home and away had an opportunity to celebrate all that is great about their progressive, can-do County. This day is an opportunity for Business, Communities, Families, Individuals to celebrate who we are, and where we come from, a day in the calendar
year that recognises Mayo and its people.
May Bank Holiday weekend.
The Mayo Pink Ribbon Cycle, Supporting Breast Cancer Research From 10.00hr on the Saturday of the May Bank Holiday Weekend. This year participants will have a choice of three cycle routes! All routes begin and end in Castlebar. There is a choice of three different routes – one to suit each level of fitness and all with stunning views of Mayo. 51km, 111km and 166 km.
West of Ireland Women’s Mini Marathon, Castlebar, Mayo. Join 3000 women from midday on the Sunday of the May Bank Holiday Weekend, family fun afterward on the Mall.
National Museum of Ireland - Féile na Tuaithe. The west’s biggest free family festival returns to the National Museum of Ireland. The festival host displays, demonstrations and stalls throughout the grounds. See working gundogs, busy bees at work, listen to live music,see thatchers and treshers, weavers and woodturners at work. Food is the central focus of with fare from the region. On the third weekend in May.
Mayo International Choral Festival - Visitors will experience the warmth & hospitality of local people & choirs, share the spectacular Mayo scenery, lively traditional music, Irish culture, and compete in a great festival. On the fourth weekend in May.
Féile Ukulele - Celebrates the rising popularity of the ukulele. Groups of players travel West on the “Ukulele Train” and enjoy a weekend of workshops, performances and impromptu pub sessions throughout the town. June bank holiday weekend.
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The best way to bring the historical story of Castlebar to life is to experience this is with a tour guide.
The History is on the Streets of Castlebar- First settlement of note can be traced to the 13th century de Barra (Barry) family. Norman settlers, they constructed a castle in 1235 which lent its name to the town. Barry’s Castle, alas it remains no more. It was located between the Convent and the Military Barracks.
The Mall - Lined with beautiful trees, once the cricket pitch of Lord Lucan, who was known as ‘the Great Exterminator’ during the Famine 1845-47.
The Methodist Church - Founded by John Wesley in 1785.
Christchurch - Oldest building in town, founded 1739. Churchyard contains gravestone of Scottish soldiers killed in action in 1798.
The Races of Castlebar, 1798 & General Humbert - The defeat of the Redcoats by General Humbert and the United Irishmen in 1798 in a battle that has become known as The Races of Castlebar. The victory celebrations were held in what now houses the Visitor Information Point and the Linenhall Arts Centre.
1798 Memorial - This monument was erected in 1948 to commemorate the
150th Anniversary of the Races of Castlebar.
John Moore’s Grave - He was selected by General Humbert as 1st President of Connaught in 1798.
Davitt & The Land League - Formally Daly’s Hotel, where Michael Davitt (In conjunction with James Daly, editor of the Connaught Telegraph) founded the National Land League in 1879.
The Courthouse - Court sittings are recorded in Castlebar as far back as the 1600s. The present courthouse underwent reconstruction in the 1822. Beside here also is the birthplace of famous Soprano Margaret Burke Sheridan- Prima Donna.
The Linenhall, now the Linenhall Arts Centre, and Visitor Information Point - The original Linen Hall was built in 1790 by Lord Lucan as a clearing house for the flax and linen produced in the region and also as a storehouse for looms and tools. Visit www.thelinenhall.com
Cavendish Lane - Called after Lord Frederick Cavendish, who founded the Connaught Telegraph newspaper on St. Patrick’s Day 1828. This is the oldest provincial paper still published in Ireland. The paper has as its Motto: “Be Just and Fear Not”.
Market Square - was originally known as Shambles Square. A Shambles or slaughterhouse once stood
Chapel Street - The Church of the Holy Rosary was dedicated in 1901. Replacing the previous church built in 1800
The Linen Industry - The streets in this area of town took their names from the fact that planters were moved into the area from Ulster in the 1770s to develop the flax growing and linen industries.
Main Street and Staball Hill - In 1798 ‘The Year of the French’, one of the most important events in the history of the town took place. The major battle in which the British General Lake was defeated took place on the Main Street bridge. Prior to this the British had been chased down Staball hill, the Franco-Irish forces were cheered on by local tenants who shouted “Stab them All.” Hence the name Staball still exists up to the present day.
Castle Street - A jail once stood at the junction of here and Ellison Street. Stephen Garvey the famous musician was born on Castle Street. The de Barra’s original castle was built on the site overlooking Castle Street where the later military barracks was built.
Mayo Memorial Peace Park - A green oasis, created to commemorate the men and women of Mayo, killed in the world wars of the last century. A perfect place to pause for peace. www.mayomemorialpeacepark.org
National Museum of Ireland - Country Life - Home to the national folk life
collection, the National Museum of Ireland-Country Life, in Castlebar, is a branch of the National Museum of Ireland. Winner of Museum of the Year in 2001, visitors to the museum's exhibition galleries are invited to experience the story of Irish country life between 1850 and 1950 through an innovative combination of artefacts and displays, archival video footage and interactive screens. The National Museum of Ireland-Country Life, is located in the spectacular grounds of Turlough Park amid magnificent gardens and an artificial lake and located alongside the restored Turlough Park House and its adjoining courtyards. Visitors can enjoy a range of public programmes including weekly craft demonstrations and workshops. Admission to these events is free but booking is necessary. Enjoy freshly baked produce and speciality teas and coffees at the museum café. The gift shop stocks a broad range of specialist books and museum-branded and hand crafted gifts to suit all budgets. T: +353 94 9031755
E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.museum.ie
Information on all areas of History & Heritage: www.visitcastlebar.com/heritage/
Mayo County Library at the Mall, Castlebar for more information.
Castle Book Shop in Castle St. for books on local history.
Brían Hoban, local historian and guide, for regular guided walking tours, and group tours by appointment: 087 9234504
Castlebar is named after a Norman adventurer called De Barra who founded a castle there (Castle Barry) in 1235 and Castlebar is historically regarded as a Garrison town. It is a vibrant commercial town with businesses covering a vast spectrum of services and products. New commercial zones have been developed by the local authorities to cater for the increasing numbers of businesses wishing to locate in the town, while there has been a very significant regeneration of the town’s Main Street. Famous people born in the town include Lord Lucan and the world renowned soprano, Margaret Burke Sheridan.
Castlebar has numerous attractions for visitors including the Museum of Country Life with its modern exhibition galleries, fascinating artefacts, education services and research facilities. The Mayo Peace Park is a specially designed thought provoking memorial to commemorate the women and men from Mayo who served and died on foreign battleships in the
major World Wars and on UN Peacekeeping operations over the course of the past century. Castlebar hosts the world famous Four Day Walks which attracts visitors from all over the world. Guided historical walks of the town are available during the summer months. Aficionados of the arts and theatre are well catered for with the Linenhall Arts Centre and the Royal Theatre, both of which host live shows and arts exhibitions. which provide art events and live shows.
Castlebar has played host to numerous festivals including the famed Castlebar Song Contest and the Mayo International Choral Festival. The Court House was built in 1834 and has several interesting architectural features while the Anglican Church (on the grounds of Mayo General Hospital) is one of the oldest buildings in the town with the foundation stone (situated inside the main gate) laid in 1739. www.visitcastlebar.com